Udupi Paryaya Festival 2008

Paryaya is an important festival in South Karnataka, especially in Udupi. ‘Paryaya’ means transition or change. The festival happens in once in two years and celebrates the transfer of authority of the ‘Paryaya Peetha’ and the rights of worship and management of the famous Udupi Sri Krishna Temple from one seer of the Asta Mutts to another. In 2008, Udupi Paryaya festival is on January 18. Horakanike will be held from January 13 to 16.

The Paryaya festival has a long history and it all began in 1298 AD, when Sri Madhvacharya appointed eight seers to propagate the Dwaita philosophy. The change in administration once in two years was initiated by Sri Vadiraja Theertha Swamiji in 1532.

The Paryaya festival falls on the fourth day after ‘Makar Sankranti’ in the even years of the English calendar.

Preparations for the Paryaya festival begin a year in advance. The next appointed Swamiji undertakes a pilgrimage to important holy places in India with the intention of spreading the Dwaita philosophy. A fortnight before the Paryaya festival the Swamiji enters Udupi and a warm reception is given which is referred as ‘Pura Pravesha.’ Next important event is the Horakanike procession. On the Paryaya day there elaborate ceremonies and processions involving the Seers of the eight mutts.

In 2008, there is a major ‘Paryaya Peetha’ controversy with seven of the Ashta Mutts opposing Puttige seer Sugendra Theertha Swami ascending the peetha. The controversy is mainly due to the foreign travel undertaken by Sugendra swami. The Seers of Ashta Mutts are not supposed to travel abroad. An amicable solution is yet to be reached.

Puthige Shri Sugunendratheertha Swamiji ascended the Sarvajnya Paryaya Peetha in the early hours of Friday January 18. But none of the Swamijis from the seven mutts participated in the ceremony.

As per tradition, Krishnapur Swamiji who was at the helm of Sarvajnya Paryaya Peetha had to handover the key of Sri Krishna Math. Due to the boycott, Puthige Swamiji ascended the Paryaya Peetha on his own.